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Thomas Sears HUFFAKER Family History

Family History Kansas Heritage

The Kansas Heritage Server would like to thank Stephen Chinn for providing this information.
26-Nov-2000              Family Group Sheet

Husband: Thomas Sears HUFFAKER #5425  died at age: 85 
       Born: 30-Mar-1825     in: Clay County, MO                            1
       Died: 10-Jul-1910     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
        Ref:                     Occupation: Indian teacher/Judge        
Father: George Smith Huffaker #24760
Mother: Catherine Lowe #24761
1849 Thomas Sears Huffaker came to Kansas.
12 May 1905 issue of the "Council Grove Guard" in which the poem by
Longfellow to Huffaker appears.
(Excerpts from "The Story of Council Grove on the Santa Fe Trail"  by Lalla
Maloy Brigham, who was Anna's chilhood friend.)

                     No man associated with Council Grove was more a part of
it than T. S. Huffaker.  He came in 1849 and until his death in 1910 lived
here continuously.  He lived in Council Grove through  three generations.  His
strong personality left a permanent  imprint in business, social and religious
affairs, which will be felt in the community for years to come.  He came as an
Indian teacher and taught in the Mission until 1854, when the Indian school
was abandoned.  There being no school for the white children here, he
organized them into a school in May, 1851, and taught them at the Mission.
This was the first white school in Kansas.  His marriage to Eliza Ann Baker
May 6, 1852, was the first marriage of white people in Council Grove.  They
were married in the Mission by Rev.  Nicholson, a missionary,  who happened to
be here at that time.  Their daughter, Susie, born July 4, 1853, was the first
white child born in Council Grove.  The Huffaker family lived in the Mission
for many  years after the closing of the school.  Susie, Mary, Agnes, Fannie
and George Huffaker were born in the Mission; Anna, Carl and Homer, and two
who died in infancy were born in the home across from the Mission.' This home,
which s now owned by C..L. Alden, is of Southern type and spoke the
hospitality of the Huffaker family.  It was owned for a number of years by
their daughter, Mrs. Carpenter. and the father and mother celebrated their
fifty-third wedding anniversary there in 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Huffaker had
conducted one of the first Sunday schools in Kansas in the Mission.  Both Were
active in the organization of the M. E. church, South, and gave the lot on
which the little brick church stood for fifty years.  Mr. Huffaker held many
positions of honor.    He was active in Indian affairs, served twice in the
legislature, was one of the first regents of the Kansas State Normal, and was
probate judge several terms.  He met with great financial losses, and there
were grief stricken years when their children were taken from them but they
met adversity with that glorious. spirit which makes the kind of citizens our
country calls for.  Mr. Huffaker died July 10, 1910.  Mrs. Carpenter, the
daughter, having sold the old homestead across the Neosho river, bought the
Mission in 1911, and resided there until her death April 12, 1921. Mrs.
Huffaker spent the declining years of her life in the Mission, and passed away
July 5, 1920, in the room in which she was married sixty-eight years before.
Thus ended the lives of Council Grove's two worthy pioneers, whose years
beside the banks of the Neosho were fraught with so much joy, sorrow and
tragedy.   To the descendants of these worthy people no better heritage could
be given than the knowledge of their father's and mother's integrity and
standing in this community. The gentleness and spirit of peace that always
pervaded their presence is a hallowed memory to all their friends.
     The people had been getting their mail at the Mail Station until 1855,
when a post office was established in Council Groves G. M. Simcock was
appointed postmaster, but refused  to qualify, and Mr. Huffaker was appointed.
 There was no building for the post office at that time, so Mr.  Huffaker took
the sack and distributed the mail on the street or would go into a store and
empty the contents on the floor and give everyone a chance to get their own
mail.  The salary was two dollars a year, but Mr. Huffaker never collected it.
     District court was, organized in 1858.  The first sheriff was W. B.
Harrold.  He was appointed by the Territorial Government.  The town of Council
Grove was formed in 1854, under territorial laws.  There were about sixty
white people here at the time.  Council Grove ranks fourth in Kansas as an
early settlement which afterward became a town.  The town  was organized in
1857. T. S. Huffaker, Seth M. Hays, Chris Columbia, Hiram Northrup, W. D.
Harris, S. P. Keller, Crypian Choteau, Fred Choteau and G. M. Simcock were the
Town Company.  It was incorporated in 1858. ...................
     In 1859-60, when Morris county had less than 600 people, there were two
events the early settlers never forgot the Indian raid of 1859 and the drought
of 1860.
     June 2, 1859, about 8 o'clock in the morning, ninety warriors of the Kaw
tribe, painted and feathered, rode down Main street from the west, and halted
in front of the Hays House.  Two horses had been stolen by the Indians from a
Mexican trader.  Mr. Hays had sent them word to return the horses and
surrender the Indian thieves.   Mr. Hays fired two revolvers, intending to
frighten them, but it only incited rebellion among them. They fired their guns
and arrows promiscuously and shot a man named Parks, who happened to be near.
An arrow struck Charles Gilke in the breast.  Both recovered.  Mr. Huffaker,
who was interpreter for the Kaws,  happened to be near and persuaded them to
leave at once.  The Indians were then camped on the hills just south of town,
near  the Indian Guide.  At noon their camp was moved over to Four Mile, where
they could better defend themselves.  By 12 o'clock  the citizens had
organized for protection.  The women and children were barricaded in the
Mission. There were only forty armed men and as there were 400 armed Indians,
they knew it was useless to try to defend an attack.  Judge Huffaker went to
the chief, Ah-le-goh-wah-ho, and asked him to surrender the Indians who shot
Parks and Gilke.  They turned over the one who shot Parks, but claimed they
didn't know who shot Gilke.  It happened to be one of the council with whom
Judge Huffaker was conferring who shot Gilke, and he left the council,
thinking the chiefs were going to turn him over to Mr.  Huffaker.  This Indian
tried to stir up strife among the Indians, and proposed that they massacre
both their chiefs and Mr.  Huffaker.  He failed in this, and was turned over
to Judge Huffaker.  The two Indians were brought to town and hung from the
wagon shop of James Phinney.  This shop was located on the present site of the
Trail Garage.  Robert Rochford hauled the dead Indians out to their camp.  The
Indians began their ceremony for the dead, which frightened the ox team.  It
was some time before they could be stopped, as the wagon was going around in a
circle.  When their heads were finally turned toward Council Grove, they never
stopped until they reached Elm Creek.  Mr. Rochford had located on the
reservation in 1857, and he lived to a ripe old age, and had many and varied
experiences, but the thrill of this Indian incident remained with him until
the end of his days.  He could easily verify the statement that "'the only
good Indian is a dead Indian."
      The Chief Ah-le-goh-wah-ho lived here many years after this attack.  He
was intelligent and sociable, but had an uncontrollable temper when his anger
was once aroused.  Judge Huffaker's courage and tact probably saved the lives
of the inhabitants at this time.
                   As early as 1851 corn was planted on the Huffaker farm for
the benefit of the Indian school.  Each succeeding year more corn was planted
in this locality.  The drought of 1860 left the residents here in a hopeless
condition.  Aid that should have reached them failed to do so.  While trade
with Mexico was good it benefited only a few.  The pioneers of 1860 tasted the
real privations that come to those who blaze the trail. .....................
          The Kaw Mission picture in map and photo section

                    The Kaw Mission has stood on the west bank of the Neosho
for seventy-one years, and is still well preserved.  The four large chimneys,
two at each end, and two broad halls through the center, are the same as in
1850 when the Mission was erected. It was built for a school for the Kaw
Indians and was used as such for years.  The full-blooded Kaws did not take
kindly to the educational methods of their white brothers, and only the
orphans and dependents were allowed to attend the school.  For this reason Mr.
Huffaker's time was not fully occupied, so he started a free school for the
white children who lived here in 1851.  There were only about twelve or
fifteen white children living in Council Grove at that time.  So the first
white school of the Sunflower State had its birth in Council Grove in this
historic building.  Other teachers followed Mr. Huffaker until 1856, when the
East Side one-story building was erected.  The other schools in Kansas which
antedate the Mission school were mixed schools, both Indians and whites
              The Old Mission was used for various purposes in the early
days-church, Sabbath school, public meetings, council house, and stronghold
against attack by the hostile Indians.  Many notable people were entertained
here.  The Huffaker family lived in the Mission for many years after the
school closed, and the fact that it has been owned by their youngest daughter,
Mrs. Carpenter, for ten years or more, makes their connection all the more
interesting.  The ancient Kaw Mission building is the embodiment of the epic
history of Council Grove, and is one of the historic shrines of the state of
Kansas.  The history of this state is incomplete without its story, as well as
the frequent and worthy mention of T. S. Huffaker, the first teacher of the
first white school in Council Grove and the state of Kansas.

The following was taken from:  William G. Cutler's, HISTORY OF THE STATE OF
KANSAS                            was first published in 1883 by A. T.
Andreas, Chicago, IL.

HON. THOMAS SEARS HUFFAKER, farmer and justice of the peace, was born in Clay
County, Mo., March 30, 1825, living there until twenty-four years old, when he
was employed by the United States Government to take charge of the Manual
Labor School for Indians, near Westport, Mo. He then located in Johnson
County, Kan., where he remained until 1850, when he was sent to Council Grove
to take charge of the Indian school for the Kaw (or Kansas)  Indians, holding
that position until 1854, when the school was discontinued. He was then
employed by Northrup & Chick as manager of their Kansas Indian trading house,
holding that position several years. In 1861 he was appointed to take charge
of the agricultural interests of the Kaw Indians, remaining four years. From
1865 to 1870 he was engaged in the mercantile business at Council Grove, and
then began farming and stock raising. Mr. H. was the first Postmaster at
Council Grove, was Judge of the Probate Court, one term, County Commissioner,
and three terms a member of the Kansas Legislature. He is at present Justice
of the Peace for Council Grove Township. He was married at Council Grove, May
6, 1852, to Miss Eliza M. Baker, who was born in Illinois and reared in Iowa,
her father being a blacksmith for the Sac and Fox Indians. She came to Kansas
with her brother-in-law, E. Mozier, who was blacksmith and gunsmith for the
Kaw Indians. Mr. and Mrs. H. were the first couple married at Council Grove.
They have seven children--Mary H., Aggie C., George M., Fannie, Anna, Thomas
H. and Carl.  Mr. H. is a member of the Masonic Order and of the Methodist
Episcopal Church.
------------------------------------------- Thomas Sears Huffaker Obituary
Council Grove Republican July 14, 1910


Earliest Kansas Citizen---A Mission Worker Among Kaw Indians  Since 1849

      Hon. Thomas Sears Huffaker, for sixty years a resident of Council Grove,
died at his home on Second street, Sunday afternoon, July 10, 1910, age 85
years, 3 months and 10 days.
     Some two weeks ago he was stricken with paralysis from which he did riot
recover, although most of the time he was conscious and conversed with the
many old friends who visited him.
     Judge Huffaker was born in Clay county, Missouri, March 30, 1825. His
parents were from Kentucky, coming to Missouri in 1820. In 1849, when Judge
Huffaker was 24 years old, he came to what is now the state of Kansas, and has
ever since been a resident of the state and at the time of his death was
probably the earliest living settler of this commonwealth.
     At first he was one of the superintendents of the manual training school
for Indians at the Shawnee mission, in what afterwards became Johnson county,
Kansas, not far from Westport, Missouri.
     He was a close student of men and affairs and began a career of active
interest in the improvement of the red men and had a wide influence in the
Indian affairs of Kansas, highly honorable and historically interesting. This
extended through the most momentous -and heroic epoch of the territory and
state and it would be impossible to write the history of Kansas without
frequent and worthy mention of Judge Huffaker.
     In the year 1850 he settled at Council Grove and took charge of the
Kansas or Kaw Indian mission school, just organized under the Methodist Church
South, and supported by the United States government. The Kaw Indian mission
building, a substantial stone structure, still stands on the banks of the
Neosho and is one of the most noted historic buildings in the state of
     Here Judge Huffaker was married on the 6 day of May, 1852, to Miss Eliza
A. Baker.  Rev. Nicholson, a missionary on his way over the Santa Fe trail to
old Mexico, who was stopping at the Kaw mission, was the officiating
clergyman. This was the first marriage at Council Grove or in this part of the
     The judge leaves a wife, eleven years his junior, and the following
children: Mary H. ,(Mrs. J. H. Simcock); Aggie C. ,(Mrs. Louis Wysmeyer);
Annie G. , (Mrs. Fred B. Carpenter); George M. , Homer and Carl. There are
also a dozen or more grandchildren and many other relatives to mourn his loss
and praise his virtues.  Few men, if any, had greater influence with the
Kansas or Kaw tribe of Indians, which lived here from 1846 to 1873. He was
known as "Tah-poo-aka," the name they gave and by which the remnant of the
tribe know him today. It means white teacher. Although the Kaws have lived in
Oklahoma for many years, until within a few years some of them annually
wandered back to their old haunts along the Neosho and to visit the spacious
Huffaker home, which had many pleasant recollections to their dependent
natures. They enjoyed the hospitality, grain for their ponies, "hog-a-meat"
and other good things which "Tah-poo-aka" had provided for their
entertainment. They would review the many improvements of their white
brothers, which were fast obliterating the site of their old home, and seemed
to love to sit and counsel again with their old time friend and guardian.
     Judge Huffaker was one of the first postmasters of Council Grove and
chairman of the first board of county commissioners, 1855, appointed by Gov.
Reeder. The district then composed Wise (now Morris) county and Breckinridge
and Madison counties (now Lyon and parts of Greenwood and Wabaunsee
     In the seventies he served several times in the Kansas legislature and
was probate judge of Morris county for several terms.
     Originally, Judge Huffaker was a Democrat, but has affiliated with the
Republican party for the past forty years or more. and his political counsels
were always wise, conservative and influential. He was probably the  first
teacher of a white school within the borders of Kansas, having classes of
white pupils in the Kaw Indian mission, which was built in 1850.
     He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and one of the founders of the
Methodist Episcopal church, south.
     For several years he has been retired from active business, but by much
reading kept abreast of the times and was an interesting and instructive
conversationalist and perfect encyclopedia of information regarding Indian and
early Kansas historical affairs. Five years ago a notable event took place at
his old home, the 53rd anniversary of his wedding, in which several hundred of
his friends and relatives participated.
     He had many opportunities to amass great wealth, but in all of his public
and private duties and business relations, his aim was ever for the uplifting
of humanity and the stable development of the great commonwealth in which he
had lived so long.
     For many years his acquaintance was extensive and influential and reached
to all parts of Kansas and beyond and his hospitable home was often the Mecca
and resting place of distinguished Kansans of old time days.  While Judge
Huffaker did not accumulate great material wealth, the higher example of an
honorable life and duty well performed is the prized heritage he leaves
     He was buried Tuesday, July 12th, with  fitting ceremonies on the gentle
slope of Greenwood cemetery, overlooking the valleys of the Neosho, where he
had lived and wrought so many useful years.
     The services were held  from the South Methodist church at 10 o'clock,
Rev. Castell officiating. Rev. Foresman, an old friend of Mr. Huffaker, spoke
several minutes on his life. The pall bearers, all acquaintances of many years
standing, were W. H. White, B. R. Scott, P. J. Potts, W. F. Shamleffer, A. G.
Campbell and H. E. Richter.

Wife: Eliza Ann BAKER #5426  died at age: 84 
Married:  6-May-1852     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS his age: 27   her age: 16  2
       Born: 22-Apr-1836     in: Carthage, IL                              
       Died:  5-Jul-1920     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Father: Joshua Wells BAKER #23543
Mother: Agnes Miller Inghram #23542
Eliza Baker Huffaker Obituary Council Grove, Republican July 9, 1920


      Another Pioneer has passed into the valley of the shadow that ends in
the golden morning of the life everlasting.  A builder of the great blessed of
God empire of the American West has gone to the reward that none other but the
God of Love and mercy could justly judge and fully appreciate and apportion.
Her life ended in the full harvest.  Her historian must say that she fulfilled
to the uttermost the obligations and accepted with grace and courage the great
privileges of womanhood and motherhood in the finest, noblest sweetest sense.
Facing the privations of pioneer life, she fulfilled the grandest duties a
wife could do.  A large family  came to her and grew up under her watchful and
prayerful care, to repay her love and bless her memory.  Her life and
influence and labor of love is  interwoven in a remarkable way with a great
commonwealth that was built in her time.  A century has near spent itself
since her birth in Carthage, Ill. , April 22, 1836.
     Her parents were Virginians and in the fall of 1835 started on the long
tedious journey from their native state to pioneer their way in the new state
of Iowa.  Overtaken by a bitter winter at Carthage, Ill.  They waited there
for spring and during the temporary residence there, Eliza Ann was born.  She
came to Council Grove with a sister and brother in law in 1849, when she and
the civilization were young.  The following year Thomas Sears Huffaker, a
young teacher sent by the Missionary Society of the M. E. Church South, to
teach the Indian, came to Council Grove.  The two young pioneers were united
in marriage, May 5th, 1852.  Thus was a new home established and thus began
united labors of a good man and woman that have grown into harvest of blessing
that no man can enumerate.  The commonwealth of Kansas is great today for
having had as its builders many of their kind. They were among the founders of
the First M. E. Church South in Council Grove and active in church affairs.
Their lives and influence were closely interwoven with the development and
progress of the new community and reached out to the Commonwealth.  For half a
century this husband and wife labored together for their family and community.
 The husband passed from this life July 10th 1910, the widowed mother passed
from this life July 5th in the room where almost three and a half score years
ago she was wed.
     To this union ten children were born, of whom, six survive. They are Mrs.
J. H. Simcock of East St. Louis, Mrs. L. A. Wismeyer of Fairfax, Okla., and
Mrs. Anna Carpenter of Council Grove, Kansas, and Thomas Homer, George M., and
Carl Ingram all of Fairfax, Okla.
     Sister Huffaker united with the M. E. Church, South, early in life and
when the two branches of the Methodist church in Council Grove united, she
came to membership in the M. E. Church.  She was a Christian whose  faith has
been steadfast through all life's journey.   Her life was a blessing to those
who came within her circle.  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
     Funeral services were held at the home of her daughter Mrs. Anna
Carpenter, Wednesday afternoon at 3:30, Rev. Rucker officiating, burial in
Greenwood Cemetery. A large number of old friends and neighbors were present
and the floral offering was a most impressive tribute of deep affection of
friendships that extend back many of them far beyond the half century mark.
Info: Jeanne Turley, 10965 Bailey School Rd.,Festus, Mo. 63028 (1981) Jeanne
says Agnes went to Kansas after Joshua died. Also dau., Eliza. Info: Jeanne
Turley, 10965 Bailey School Rd.,Festus, Mo. 63028 (1981) Jeanne says Agnes
went to Kansas after Joshua died. Also dau., Eliza.

F Child 1  Susie Huffaker #23556  died at age: 18 
Born:         4-Jul-1853     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:        14-May-1872     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS                3
  Buried:    16-May-1872     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
F Child 2  Mary Huffaker #23557  died at age: 77 
Born:        20-Oct-1855     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:        16-Sep-1933     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Spouse:   James Hamilton SIMCOCK  #23558  b. 20-Jun-1850  d. 17-Feb-1927  
Married:  24-Aug-1873     in: St Louis, ILL                             
F Child 3  Agnes "Aggie" Catherine Huffaker #23559  died at age: 74 
Born:        10-May-1857     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:        25-Nov-1931     in: Los Angeles, CA                           
Louis Wysmeyer#23560  also known as: Louis WISMEYER   
M Child 4  George Morris Huffaker #23561  died at age: 74 
Born:        24-Jan-1860     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:         4-Aug-1934     in:                                           
Spouse:   Nellie M. Burritt  #23562  b.  5-Nov-1858  d.  8-Apr-1926  
Married:  24-Dec-1891     in: Helena, MT                                
F Child 5  Fannie Marvin Huffaker #23563  died at age: 23 
Born:        11-Apr-1862     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:        20-Jul-1885     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
F Child 6  Clara Huffaker #23564  died at age: 1 
Born:         5-Apr-1864     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:         6-Oct-1865     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
F Child 7  Anna Goddard Huffaker #24793  died at age: 53 
Born:        21-May-1867     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:        12-Apr-1921     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS                4
Spouse:   Fred Beecher Carpenter  #24794  b. 13-Jun-1862  d.  4-Jan-1912  
Married:  16-Jul-1895     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
F Child 8  Claudine L. HUFFAKER #24883  died at age: 3 
Born:         5-Feb-1873     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:        27-Nov-1876     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
M Child 9  Thomas Homer Huffaker #23567  died at age: 75 
Born:         1-Mar-1875     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:        Sep 1951        in:                                           
Emma R. Bates#23568  
M Child 10  Carl Inghram Huffaker #23569  died at age: 76 
Born:         2-Jan-1880     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
Died:        29-Dec-1956     in: Council Grove, MorrisCo, KS               
     Ref:                      Occupation:    Banker                     
Kate Debitt#23570  
Spouse:   Bertha Florence Atwell  #23571  b.  5-Jan-1884  d. 26-Feb-1949  
Married:  17-Mar-1917     in:                                           

1 "Council Grove Guard" dated 12 May 1905. 

2 Brigham, Lalla Maloy. "The Story of Council Grove on the Santa Fe Trail." 

3 Brake, Hezekiah. "On Two Continents - A Long Life's Experience."
Topeka: Crane and Company, Printers. 1896. 

4 Brigham, Lalla Maloy. The Story of Council Grove on the Santa Fe Trail.
Fourth Edition. 1921. 

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